" The agreement “proves that Japan and China can solve difficulties together,” Masahiko Komura, Japan’s foreign minister at the time, told reporters in Tokyo on June 18, 2008.
China regards the agreement as “conducive to stability” and “in line with the fundamental interests of the two countries,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement on the ministry’s website the same day.
Even with the breakthrough on paper, joint development at the site never started.
“The attempt at co-production hasn’t been successful so far,” said Euan Graham, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.“The encouraging thing for the future is that it’s very difficult for any one side to develop the fields by itself. It would make much more economic sense to go at it together.”